On this first session of our keynote series, Dr. Asheley Morgan kickstarted by exploiting the idea of the shifts in representation of masculine identities, pondering the question “When is a nerd not a nerd? When he’s a geek”. She goes on to explore what makes a man and the different categories that men are made up of.
Connell (2005) describes how there are different types of masculinity, hegemonic masculinity in which men enjoy high social economic and cultural status which is portrayed globally and on the other hand, subordinate masculinity which is described as the marginalisation of some men despite their high social, cultural and economic status in general, for example, homosexual men and black men.
The associated term hegemon is used to identify the actor, group, class, or state that exercises hegemonic power or that is responsible for the dissemination of hegemonic ideas. Hegemony derives from a Greek term that translates simply as “dominance over” and that was used to describe relations between politics for example
Embodiment of masculinity:
Nerds might be socially and economically incompetent, as well as living in a fantasy world. This is commercialized in media an example of this is Napoleon Dynamite. On the other hand, the opposite of a nerd is a geek. A geek being an expert, which is shown and popularised in the very current, trending TV show Big Bang Theory. A geek may often have dual expertise and will know the difference between fantasy and knowledge, which is something a nerd will not be able to do. Having a slot on prime time TV shows how popular and socially accepted it is.